Why it matters: It seems like just about every major player in the smartphone industry is doing something to combat robocalls. Samsung, Google, and a handful of cellular providers have already rolled out anti-spam features to customer devices. Now, AT&T is following suit: moving forward, "certain" Android phones will now display green check marks for "validated" incoming calls.
This is a similar spam prevention approach to the one we saw Google roll out recently: the search giant began to label shady incoming calls as "suspected spam" where appropriate, but only on select devices.
AT&T's alternative is a bit more subtle. As you can see in the image below, it displays a green check mark next to the number of a real incoming call, as well as the text "Valid number" just below it.
Of course, there's no reason these two systems couldn't work in tandem. Informing people when a call might be spam, but also letting them know when it isn't might be more effective at protecting people than one or the other.
For now, the smartphones that will automatically receive this functionality include the LG V40 ThinQ, the Samsung Galaxy S10, and the S10+. However, if you don't have any of those devices, you aren't out of luck. You can also turn on "Call Validation" if you have the AT&T Phone "digital home phone service."
AT&T promises that this is just a first step toward "[taming]" robocalls, and more anti-spam measures will come throughout 2020.
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